Published in Sibyl Magazine, February 2018
Like many people on a spiritual path, my prayer life has ebbed and flowed over the years. Sometimes, especially during times of crisis, it is easy to reach out to God/Goddess and ask for help, protection and guidance. Other times, when life gets busy or when things are going smoothly, I may forget to take the time to connect with the divine.
In my younger years, part of the challenge was a rebelliousness against more structure and “shoulds” in my life. I didn’t want one more thing on my to-do list. In addition, work, school and family responsibilities often took precedence over self-care, and I often put prayer in the self-care category.
In recent years, I no longer take for granted the everyday, practical value of connecting with Spirit to begin each day. This shift came about gradually as I learned to pray in a more embodied way. Creating an altar. Lighting a candle. Clearing my field using sage, palo santo or sound. Feeling my feet upon the earth. Calling in the directions and really FEELING the energies of East, South, West, North, Above, Below, and Within. Connecting with my heart. Taking time to give thanks and listen.
These days, prayer has become an active conversation between me, Body and Soul, and the many faces of the Divine.
On days where I have the time and space, these prayers can be slow and meditative. I may fix a cup of tea and pray, journal, and have a deep conversation with Spirit.
On days that are filled with activity, I may take an extra moment or two in the shower, feeling the water wash away the old or distracting energies, giving thanks, and asking for guidance as I move through my day.
Prayer no longer feels like a “should”, but rather a varied and life-giving date with my Beloved. Using all of my senses to feel the Divine brings me out of my head, and into my body. It reminds me of my connection to this planet, and all the plants, animals, people and beings who share Gaia, our home.
Prayer is no longer an item to check off on a list of tasks for the day. It is a reminder of who I am, where I live, and all the support that is available. Embodied prayer brings into focus the interconnection of all of life. It gives me hope when it looks like the world is falling apart. It reminds me to value life in its many forms, and to truly feel the reality that we are all related.
That connection gives me hope and passion. I don’t have to do this alone. This allows me to be more effective throughout the day. To do those tasks that really matter, and let go of the rest. Taking time to make a heart connection with others. Letting them know they, too, have support. Letting them know that we don’t have to do it alone.